2012 Maison Roche de Bellene “Vieilles Vignes” Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy, France – LCBO Vintages $56.95
Nicholas Pearce Wines Inc. is pleased to announce the release of this great Burgundy through LCBO Vintages tomorrow, the 11th of October.
One of the most exciting projects that I’ve been working on over the last 5 years has been with my good friend Nicolas Potel at Maison Roche de Bellene in Burgundy. Nicolas is an amazing human being, a great winemaker and ultimately, what the french call a true Bon Vivant. He inspires everyone around him and I just wanted to take a few moments to share his interesting story. Have a quick read and pick up one of the many Maison Roche de Bellene wines available in the market today. In addition to the many limited LCBO Vintages Retail release s, many of the top restaurants in Ontario will have his 2012 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Vieilles Vignes listed for you to try.
Nicolas Potel, is unquestionably a well-known and highly regarded winemaker in Burgundy. His négociant company is called Maison Roche de Bellene. It was founded by Nicolas in 2009, after his forced departure from his former négociant company, Maison Nicolas Potel. At Roche de Bellene the terroir-focused winemaking philosophy is the same as when he founded the original Maison in 1998. Nicolas has maintained his relationships with a majority of the growers that he has worked with over the past 15 years, and continually finds new ones. The emphasis at Roche de Bellene is on individual terroirs from vieilles vignes (old vines – 35 years or older) that are farmed responsibly. All of his growers are either BIO certified or farming according to the principles of lutte raisonée (‘sustainable viticulture’). This enables Nicolas to consistently produce the expressive, terroir-driven style that is his vision.
Domaine de Bellene is located in Beaune, the very heart of Burgundy. Nicolas now owns 60 acres of vineyards in several villages throughout the Côte d’Or. The vineyards have been farmed according to organic practices since 2006 and are now certified BIO. Vinification is minimalist in approach — no enzymes, cultured yeasts or acid adjustments are used, and filtration is avoided. Nicolas purchased the 16th century estate buildings in 2005 and is working to renovate them in as green a manner as possible. Environmental responsibility is being integrated into all aspects of the estate: buildings, vineyards, cellar work, energy conservation and generation, and packaging materials.
The name Bellene comes from “Belenos,” an ancient Gallic god of sun and beauty. It is the origin of the city name, Beaune, which was called “Belena” in Roman times, and “Bellene” in the Middle Ages.
Critics’ reviews of this current release have been most favourable:
The 2012 Gevrey-Chambertin Village has an expressive bouquet, generous at first with floral, rose petal scents joining the red cherry and crushed strawberry fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins and ample freshness. This is classy for a village cru with great precision towards the finish. This is my pick of the Maison’s village crus. Score 90 – 91. (Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com, Dec. 2013)
Good deep medium red. Musky, inviting aromas of wild raspberry, strawberry and blackberry. Sweet and fine-grained, with perfumed dark fruit flavors complicated by a gamey nuance. Very suave and aromatic village wine, finishing with ripe tannins and good saline minerality. Long on personality. More easygoing than the Chambolle and Vosne cuvees but still with good mid-term aging potential.
Score – 88-90. (Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, Jan./Feb. 2014)
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